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Aufgabe 2

Aufgaben
Download als Dokument:PDFWord

TASKS

1
Outline what happens in the audition room.
(30%)
2
Examine how the author illustrates Mr. Luong's feelings during and after the audition. Give evidence from the text.
(30%)
3
Choose one of the following tasks:
3.1
She didn't dare check her father's reaction when she said, “Yes. I'll translate.” (ll. 37/38)
Explain the quote and reflect on the role language plays in integration;
use Mr. Luong's experience as a starting point.
(40%)
OR
3.2
Compare Mr. Luong's difficulties with those of a character from literature or film who also fights for recognition. Assess the way they cope with their situations.
(40%)
OR
3.3
In an online article for a media project on career prospects, discuss whether talent shows can be a chance for Mr. Luong and people in general to realize their dreams.
(40%)
Text: Excerpt from the novel
Short Girls
By Bich Minh Nguyen
Note: Mr. Luong, a first-generation Vietnamese American, has invented several devicesfor short people, which he has always tried to sell but without success. One day he isinvited to an audition for a talent show for desperate inventors. He is accompanied by hisAmerican-born daughter Linny and their friend Tom.




5




10




15




20




25




30




35




40




45




50
[…] Three bored-faced judges, all men, sat behind a long table, surrounded by cameras. Mr. Luong put his inventions on the desk set in the middle of the room and arranged the suitcase and ladder nearby. In the background, a huge screen printed with the block-lettered logo for Tomorrow's Great Inventor loomed. […]
Mr. Luong stood behind the desk. He tried to strike a shoulders-back posture, keeping his hands folded in front of him, and to Linny he looked like a kid in the final anxious round of a spelling bee.
“My name”, he started, squinting at the camera lights, “is Dinh Luong. I am inventing products in Michigan and the United States and I am a U.S. citizen. I have three products today to show for short people in the United States and America. Some people say short people are no reason to live, but I say short people have many reasons for becoming happy.”
“Show us what you're referring to,” one of the other judges interjected. He was the shorter one, thin and intense-looking. The third judge, the only one wearing a suit,
laughed.
Mr. Luong fumbled with the box to reveal the Luong Arm. “This is my Luong Arm,” he said. “It's very useful. I can demonstrate on many things how useful it is. All my inventions are very useful. I have the Luong Arm which is right here. Here I also have the Luong Eye and then I have the Luong Wall. So I have a big three, which is important.”
Linny cringed at his deteriorating English and thickening accent, the way he was even now falling into an embarrassing Mr. Miyagi-like cadence. His eyes darted from camera to camera. For once in his life, perhaps the only time in his life, he was attempting to make good on two decades of promises; he was trying to stand in front of that panel of judges and pitch his work, let it go forth to critics, the world, when Linny and Van had never truly thought he could. And he was going to blow it all with his unsteady English.
“Listen, man, I can hardly understand you,” the short judge said. “Can either of you?”
The lead judge shook his head. “Sorry, I don't think this is going to happen.”
Linny made herself walk to the center of the room, right in front of her father, under the hot lights of the cameras. She said, “Let me explain. May I? There are three great inventions here, all designed to help short people make their lives a little easier. One is a Luong Arm, that can get things that are out of reach; another is called the Luong Eye, to help people see in a crowd; and the third is called the Luong Wall, which is basically a set of shelves that rise and lower with a remote control. All of these make it easier for short people to get what they need, or to have whatever they need come to them.” The descriptions flowed with surprising ease, and when she glanced at Tom he nodded.
“Not bad,” the short judge said. “Are you the translator?”
Linny glanced at Tom again, who gave her an encouraging smile. She didn't dare check her father's reaction when she said, “Yes. I'll translate.” […]
When the judges invited them, with Linny as the presenter, they emphasized, to the second round of the competition, next month in Las Vegas, her father stood so still that the short judge called out, “Don't get so excited there, buddy!” Linny made a show of thanking the judges, going up to shake their hands, while her father silently gathered the Arm and Eye back in their box, refusing even to look at Tom.
The three of them should have been among the few cheering as they left the audition room. Linny actually did feel like celebrating, and Tom seemed to share the feeling, but Mr. Luong stormed toward the exit.
The camera guys zeroed in on them.
“These stupid TV people,” Dinh Luong finally spat out as he reached the hallway. “They're all about the TV. My friends warn me. They said it. Watch out for the TV people. Well, they can take their Las Vegas somewhere else.” […]
(709 words)
Source: Nguyen, Bich Minh. Short Girls. New York: Viking Penguin, 2009, 254-259.
Annotations
Lines
7
spelling bee
contest in which contestants spell words aloud and are removed from the contest when they spell a word wrongly
20
to cringe at sth.
to feel embarrassed by sth.
20
deteriorating
becoming worse
21
Mr. Miyagi-like cadence
friend of the Luong family who speaks poor English with a special rhythmic flow of words
22/23
to make good on sth.
to do what you have said you would do / to keep a promise
24
to pitch sth.
to present / to advertise sth. powerfully
24
Van
Linny's elder sister and Mr. Luong's eldest daughter
47
to zero in on sb.
to zoom in on sb.
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Task 1

$\blacktriangleright$ Outline: What happens in the audition room?

In dieser Aufgabe sollst du skizzieren, was im Vorführungsraum geschieht. Eine genaue Analyse ist nicht gefragt. Es geht vielmehr darum, die wichtigsten Punkte herauszuarbeiten, nebensächliche Details musst du nicht nennen.

In dieser Aufgabe ist es wichtig, dass du das Geschehen im Raum richtig und strukturiert zusammenfasst. Deine grobe Zusammenfassung sollte ergeben, dass Mr. Luong aufgrund von Schüchternheit und Sprachproblemen bei der Vorführung scheitert. Seine Tochter erklärt seine Erfindungen besser als er, sodass er eine Runde weiterkommt. Er ist aber beschämt und möchte nicht weitermachen.

Task 2

$\blacktriangleright$ Examine how the author illustrates Mr. Luong's feelings during and after the audition. Give evidence from the text.

In dieser Aufgabe sollst du untersuchen, wie der Autor Mr. Luongs Gefühle vor und nach der Vorführung beschreibt. Es geht also darum, dass du beschreibst, auf welche Art und Weise Mr. Luong seine Gefühle zeigt. Unterscheide dabei zwischen den Gefühlen vor der Vorführung und den Gefühlen nach der Vorführung. Vernachlässige alles, was nicht mit den Gefühlen Mr. Luongs zu tun hat. Du musst den Text nicht noch einmal zusammenfassen.

Mr. Luong zeigt seine Unsicherheit durch viele körperliche Handlungen (vgl. l. 8, l. 16) und durch seine Sprache (l. 17-20). Zitiere genau, was Mr. Luongs Nervosität und seine Unzufriedenheit beweist. Wichtig: Beachte, dass Mr. Luong vor und während der Vorführung nervös ist. Nach der Vorführung ist er aber peinlich berührt und resigniert.

Task 3.1

$\blacktriangleright$ “She didn't dare check her father's reaction when she said, “Yes. I'll translate.” (ll. 37/38) Explain the quote and reflect on the role language plays in integration. Use Mr. Luong's experience as a starting point.

In dieser Aufgabe sollst du zuerst erklären, was das Zitat aussagt. Erkläre die Situation, in die diese Stelle fällt und berücksichtige dabei Mr. Luongs Gefühle sowie die Absichten seiner Tochter. Außerdem sollst du darüber reflektieren, welche Rolle Sprache in der Integration spielt. Dabei sollst du dich auf Mr. Luongs Erfahrungen beziehen. Denke darüber nach, wie wichtig Sprache für die Integration ist, wiege verschiedene Argumente gegeneinander ab und komme zu einem differenzierten und persönlichen Urteil.

Linny weiß, dass sie ihren Vater mit dem Zitat beschämt, aber ihr sind seine Erfindungen so wichtig, dass sie ihn trotzdem bloßstellt.
Sprache ist wichtig, um sich mit anderen zu verständigen und nur dadurch ist eine Integration überhaupt wirklich nötig. Wer mit anderen nicht sprechen kann, isoliert sich. Andererseits ist Sprache auch erlernbar. Diese Punkte solltest du in deiner Lösung beachten.

Task 3.2

$\blacktriangleright$ Compare Mr. Luong's difficulties with those of a character from literature or film who also fights for recognition. Assess the way they cope with their situations.

In dieser Aufgabe sollst du zuerst vergleichen, wie Mr. Luong und ein anderer Charakter aus einem Buch/einer Erzählung oder einem Film für Anerkennung kämpfen. Nutze dabei am besten eine Figur, die sich in einer ähnlichen Situation wie Mr. Luong befindet. Danach sollst du bewerten, wie Mr. Luong und die andere Figur mit ihren Situationen umgehen. Urteile also darüber, ob sich die Charaktere nachvollziehbar verhalten und ob ihr Vorgehen sinnvoll ist.

Achte beim Vergleich auf diese Punkte:

  • Situation/gesellschaftlicher Stand der Figuren
  • Widrigkeiten, denen sich die Figuren stellen müssen
  • Geben die Charaktere auf? Wenn ja, wieso? Wenn nein, wie schaffen sie das?

Task 3.3

$\blacktriangleright$ In an online article for a media project on career prospects, discuss whether talent shows can be a chance for Mr. Luong and people in general to realize their dreams.

In dieser Aufgabe sollst du einen Online-Artikel für ein Projekt schreiben, in dem es um Karriereaussichten geht. Dein Text soll also einerseits informativ, aber auch gut lesbar für deine fiktiven Leser sein. Binde den Leser daher am Anfang deines Texts ein, sprich ihn direkt an. Im Text sollst du dann diskutieren, ob Talentshows dafür geeignet sind, dass Mr. Luong und andere Leute ihre Träume verwirklichen können. Nenne also Vor- und Nachteile von Talentshows.

Diese Punkte kannst du in deiner Lösung ansprechen:

  • Was ist das Ziel von Talentshows? Hohe Zuschauerzahlen oder die Entdeckung von Talenten?
  • Wie werden die Teilnehmer von Talentshows von der Jury behandelt?
  • Kann man durch Talentshows Bekanntheit erlangen?

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Task 1

$\blacktriangleright$ Outline: What happens in the audition room?

Tipp

In dieser Aufgabe sollst du skizzieren, was im Vorführungsraum geschieht. Eine genaue Analyse ist nicht gefragt. Es geht vielmehr darum, die wichtigsten Punkte herauszuarbeiten, nebensächliche Details musst du nicht nennen.

In dieser Aufgabe ist es wichtig, dass du das Geschehen im Raum richtig und strukturiert zusammenfasst. Deine grobe Zusammenfassung sollte ergeben, dass Mr. Luong aufgrund von Schüchternheit und Sprachproblemen bei der Vorführung scheitert. Seine Tochter erklärt seine Erfindungen besser als er, sodass er eine Runde weiterkommt. Er ist aber beschämt und möchte nicht weitermachen.

In the excerpt from Bich Minh Nguyen's novel “Short Girls” from 2009, Mr. Luong, who is a first generation Vietnamese American, takes part in a talent show to present the inventions he has designed as supporting devices for short people. The day of the audition, his daughter Linny and their friend Tom accompany him. In the audition room, there are three judges sitting behind a long table who look bored.
After Mr. Luong, who is very nervous, has arranged his inventions in front of the judges, he starts to present them. Due to his poor English, he cannot express the function of his products in a proper way. Hence, the judges tell him that they cannot really understand him nor the purpose of his inventions. Simultaneously, Linny feels sorry for her dad's insecure performance and steps up to him. She then explains his products very precisely to the judges stating how helpful the gadgets can be for short people.
Eventually, the judges invite Linny and her dad to the second round of the competition and Linny and Tom are really excited about the opportunity. Mr. Luong on the contrary, stays silent, bags his products and gets upset by the arrogant behavior of the “TV people“. Walking out of the audition room he tells Linny and Tom that he will not take part in the second audition in Las Vegas.

Task 2

$\blacktriangleright$ Examine how the author illustrates Mr. Luong's feelings during and after the audition. Give evidence from the text.

Tipp

In dieser Aufgabe sollst du untersuchen, wie der Autor Mr. Luongs Gefühle vor und nach der Vorführung beschreibt. Es geht also darum, dass du beschreibst, auf welche Art und Weise Mr. Luong seine Gefühle zeigt. Unterscheide dabei zwischen den Gefühlen vor der Vorführung und den Gefühlen nach der Vorführung. Vernachlässige alles, was nicht mit den Gefühlen Mr. Luongs zu tun hat. Du musst den Text nicht noch einmal zusammenfassen.

Mr. Luong zeigt seine Unsicherheit durch viele körperliche Handlungen (vgl. l. 8, l. 16) und durch seine Sprache (l. 17-20). Zitiere genau, was Mr. Luongs Nervosität und seine Unzufriedenheit beweist. Wichtig: Beachte, dass Mr. Luong vor und während der Vorführung nervös ist. Nach der Vorführung ist er aber peinlich berührt und resigniert.

At the beginning, Bich Minh Nguyen describes Mr. Luong's posture and gestures when he is ready to present his products to the judges. He tries to stand uprightly with folded hands (l. 5f.). Linny, in contrast, sees how nervous her father really is (l. 6f.).
Bich further demonstrates his insecurity through his “squinting at the camera lights” (l. 8) and through unconfident “fumbling” with the boxes in which he carries his products (l. 16). Next, Mr. Luong can barely express himself while explaining his inventions. Repetitions (“very useful” (l. 17f.)) and a very simple tongue (l. 16ff.) show how hard it is for him to speak English in front of other people. Moreover, Linny's reaction to his performance, when she “cringed at his deteriorating English and thickening accent” (l. 20) demonstrates once more how tense the situation is. The comparison to Mr. Miyagi's cadence also shows the awkwardness of Mr. Luong's presentation.
After Linny takes the initiative trying to show how good the inventions of her father are, it becomes obvious how poor Mr. Luong must feel, since he is not able to promote his products himself. Linny's reaction (“She didn't dare check her father's reaction…” l. 37f.) underlines this impression.
Further, Mr. Luong cannot be happy about the successful outgoing of the competition since he feels disappointed and offended by the “TV people” (l. 48ff.) He is standing still (l. 40), silent (l. 42) and rushes to the exit of the audition room (l. 46).

Task 3

3.1

$\blacktriangleright$ “She didn't dare check her father's reaction when she said, “Yes. I'll translate.” (ll. 37/38) Explain the quote and reflect on the role language plays in integration. Use Mr. Luong's experience as a starting point.

Tipp

In dieser Aufgabe sollst du zuerst erklären, was das Zitat aussagt. Erkläre die Situation, in die diese Stelle fällt und berücksichtige dabei Mr. Luongs Gefühle sowie die Absichten seiner Tochter. Außerdem sollst du darüber reflektieren, welche Rolle Sprache in der Integration spielt. Dabei sollst du dich auf Mr. Luongs Erfahrungen beziehen. Denke darüber nach, wie wichtig Sprache für die Integration ist, wiege verschiedene Argumente gegeneinander ab und komme zu einem differenzierten und persönlichen Urteil.

Linny weiß, dass sie ihren Vater mit dem Zitat beschämt, aber ihr sind seine Erfindungen so wichtig, dass sie ihn trotzdem bloßstellt.
Sprache ist wichtig, um sich mit anderen zu verständigen und nur dadurch ist eine Integration überhaupt wirklich nötig. Wer mit anderen nicht sprechen kann, isoliert sich. Andererseits ist Sprache auch erlernbar. Diese Punkte solltest du in deiner Lösung beachten.

Due to globalization and technological progress, the different parts of the world become more and more interconnected. Barriers between countries are reduced constantly, and by now, people can move to many other countries very easily. But immigrating into a foreign country does not come along with positive experiences only. Especially foreign languages can be a problem for many people.
Mr. Luong, a first-generation Vietnamese American who is the protagonist of the excerpt from the novel “Short Girls” by Bich Minh Nguyen, also experiences difficulties in regard to his poor English speaking skills. Since he has invented products to support short people in their ordinary life, he wants to take part in a competition for inventors. Once he starts with the presentation of his products, the judges tell him that they do not understand him. When thereon his daughter Linny takes over the presentation, he is disappointed and feels mistreated by the judges. The author explains this moment with the quote She didn't dare check her father's reaction when she said “Yes. I'll translate.” .
Linny feels very sorry for her dad because he is not able to present his inventions in the way they should be presented. Since she knows how important the inventions and therefore the competition are for her dad, she wants to support him and his ideas by continuing with the presentation. But meanwhile, she also knows how embarrassing it is for her dad not being able to express himself. On the one hand she is happy because she guesses that her words convinced the judges, but on the other hand she does not want to look at her father since she would see how disappointed he is – even more disappointed than happy about the success at the competition.
When people immigrate into a foreign country and try to integrate themselves into society, many of them have similar problems to those of Mr. Luong.
First, it is really hard for immigrants who do not speak a foreign language to get a foothold in a foreign country, since the language is the foundation of adapting a new culture and a new lifestyle. If people do not speak the language, it is very hard for them to find a job and, consequently, to make friends with locals.
Second, even when immigrants try their best to fit in a society, many local people refuse to accept immigrants just because of their poor language skills.
As a consequence of these difficult beginnings, some immigrants become frustrated and by and by they give up on integrating and rather bond with other immigrants from their home country. This again leads rather to isolated groups instead of a multicultural society.
To sum it up, language skills provide an important basis for integration. Not speaking a foreign language can complicate the integration process a lot, but nevertheless, integration into a new society also depends on the commitment of the individual.

3.2

$\blacktriangleright$ Compare Mr. Luong's difficulties with those of a character from literature or film who also fights for recognition. Assess the way they cope with their situations.

Tipp

In dieser Aufgabe sollst du zuerst vergleichen, wie Mr. Luong und ein anderer Charakter aus einem Buch/einer Erzählung oder einem Film für Anerkennung kämpfen. Nutze dabei am besten eine Figur, die sich in einer ähnlichen Situation wie Mr. Luong befindet. Danach sollst du bewerten, wie Mr. Luong und die andere Figur mit ihren Situationen umgehen. Urteile also darüber, ob sich die Charaktere nachvollziehbar verhalten und ob ihr Vorgehen sinnvoll ist.

Achte beim Vergleich auf diese Punkte:

  • Situation/gesellschaftlicher Stand der Figuren
  • Widrigkeiten, denen sich die Figuren stellen müssen
  • Geben die Charaktere auf? Wenn ja, wieso? Wenn nein, wie schaffen sie das?

The protagonist of the excerpt from Bich Minh Nguyen's novel “Short Girls”, Mr. Luong, is a Vietnamese inventor who takes part in a competition to promote his products. Due to his bad English, he cannot convince the judges. When his daughter Linny takes over the presentation she can convince the judges of the significance of her father's products. He, however, is disappointed about how the judges treated him and cannot be happy about being accepted to the second round. In fact, he does not even want to take the opportunity to go to Las Vegas where the second round of the competition takes place.
Chris Gardner, the protagonist of the film “The Pursuit of Happiness”, has also invented a product. As a sales representative, he tries to sell his invention – portable bone-density scanners – in which he has invested all of his money. Since the scanners are very expensive, he is not very successful in selling them and due to financial problems and insecurity, his wife leaves him and takes their son with her.
Chris, though, does not give up and fights to get his son back. Furthermore, he looks for another job to earn his family's living. He then lands a six-month internship at an investment bank with prospect of a future job as a stock broker. The downside of the internship is that it is unpaid. That is why Chris has to work additionally as a sales representative. Moreover, he is just one candidate among others and only one of them will get the job in the end.
Although Chris has to overcome many drawbacks, he does not give up. He loses his flat due to back rent and lives in a motel until he cannot afford this anymore, either. Even while being homeless, he tries his best to do both jobs and to be a good father to his son. In the end, he asserts himself and finally gets the job.
Both men fight for recognition: Mr. Luong wants his inventions to become popular, Chris wants to earn money by selling his scanners and simultaneously, he wants to earn enough money for his family and to be a good father.
In contrast to Mr. Luong, Chris does not give up. No matter how hard the circumstances are, he keeps going. Mr. Luong, though, gives resigns just because he cannot handle language difficulties. Instead of trying to cooperate with his daughter and being happy about the positive outcome of the competition, Mr. Luong seems to be too proud to let his daughter represent him and his products.
In the end, Chris gets what he was fighting for, Mr. Luong, though, does not even want to take part in the second round to give his products a chance.

3.3

$\blacktriangleright$ In an online article for a media project on career prospects, discuss whether talent shows can be a chance for Mr. Luong and people in general to realize their dreams.

Tipp

In dieser Aufgabe sollst du einen Online-Artikel für ein Projekt schreiben, in dem es um Karriereaussichten geht. Dein Text soll also einerseits informativ, aber auch gut lesbar für deine fiktiven Leser sein. Binde den Leser daher am Anfang deines Texts ein, sprich ihn direkt an. Im Text sollst du dann diskutieren, ob Talentshows dafür geeignet sind, dass Mr. Luong und andere Leute ihre Träume verwirklichen können. Nenne also Vor- und Nachteile von Talentshows.

Diese Punkte kannst du in deiner Lösung ansprechen:

  • Was ist das Ziel von Talentshows? Hohe Zuschauerzahlen oder die Entdeckung von Talenten?
  • Wie werden die Teilnehmer von Talentshows von der Jury behandelt?
  • Kann man durch Talentshows Bekanntheit erlangen?

People who are very talented at a certain field of activity often look for an opportunity to present their capabilities. If you are a talented person, you may think that talent shows sometimes seem to be the best platform for you. But beware: Are these shows really a chance for you to realize your dreams?
Mr. Luong, the protagonist of Bich Minh Nguyen's excerpt of the novel “Short Girls”, also tries his luck at a competition. He has invented products which are supposed to support short people in their ordinary life. But due to his lack of good English, he cannot convince the judges of his inventions – it is his daughter who is able to persuade the judges so that Luong is accepted to the second round of the contest. For Mr. Luong, the advancement is no success, since he is not able to promote his products himself. The excerpt demonstrates that talent shows can also be rather demotivating than supporting.
Additionally, many talent shows just serve as a kind of entertainment for the audience. It is not the talent of the candidates which is foregrounded, but the amusement of the people who watch the shows. In addition to that, these shows tend to show up the candidates to raise the viewing rate. People are run down on purpose just to gain more viewers.
Moreover, in the unlikely event of a positive outcome through such a show, the success of the candidates usually does not last all too long. In the short term they gain money and popularity but in the long term they often fall into oblivion.
In the majority of the cases, the judges are no experts. That way, sympathy is much more decisive than the talent of the candidates.
On the contrary, there are also shows with a professional jury. There, candidates are rated in a proper and fair way. All candidates have the same conditions and can really demonstrate their talent. Furthermore, these shows offer a possibility to see if someone really is a big talent.
Furthermore, candidates can reach a certain degree of publicity. Even if they do not win the show, some talent scouts could take notice of them.
To put it in a nutshell, in exceptional cases talent shows can be a chance for candidates to realize their dreams, but unfortunately, the intention of talent shows is oftentimes just to get high viewing rates instead of finding talented people.
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